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Danny Wong Falls Short Of 'Beautiful Money' In World Series Of Poker Main Event

Los Angeles-Based Pro Finishes 14th For $465,159

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Danny WongLong-time pro Danny Wong hasn’t been around tournament poker for quite some time, taking a break to peruse cash games around the world, but he made a splash in his return to the circuit by notching a deep run in the WSOP Main Event.

Wong had more experience than any of the remaining 14 players as of around 9 p.m. local time in Las Vegas. However, he suffered a crippling beat when his A-10 was victimized by A-9. Before the river card, he had a shot at poker’s most coveted, yet improbable, title.

Despite doubling up once, Wong was still a short stack and eventually hit the rail in 14th place for a score of $465,159. He now has more than $2.5 million in career earnings.

While the Main Event is gut-wrenching for its competitors, the poker lifestyle itself is very stressful, Wong said when he was still alive during the dinner break. “The swings are up and down,” he said. “It’s no fun when you are losing and all the fun when you are winning. You like to play when you are winning, and you want to sit at home and do nothing when you are losing. It has a negative effect. That’s just how it is.”

Wong comes from a culture where gambling isn’t highly regarded. He said he wouldn’t want a future son or daughter to play for a living. Wong’s parents are supportive, but they still want him to do other things.

He once contemplated parlaying his degree in business to trading on Wall Street. Those plans were derailed by poker success, but Wong still has aspirations outside of cards.

“There’s no point in putting that much stress in my life,” he said of the game. “Poker is never guaranteed. The people you are around — you don’t know who is good or who is bad. Now that I know everyone I generally am able to tell, but you have to figure the lifestyle out on your own.”

As for the Main Event, which is only the third tournament he played this summer, Wong was still hungry. “You never know when it’s your time,” he said. “I never doubted myself. Other people may have said things that you don’t like to hear, but you have to brush that off. You know yourself best. You know what you’re capable of.”

The passion for tournament poker may have dwindled, but he said it’s not difficult to have the love for the game while deep in the Main Event. “It’s your chance to make all the beautiful money,” he said before his elimination.

With a large score, Wong said he would consider playing in what he calls “baller” games in Macau — ones that escalate to $500,000 buy-ins and feature some of the largest pots in the world. “If the game is good, why not?” the action-seeker asked.

Still, Wong knows how to pick his spots and implement proper bankroll management. His maturity level with his finances has come after years of making a living on the felt. The $465,159 is safe.

Long-time friend and fellow poker pro Steve Sung was there to watch Wong play Monday. Sung not only served as support, but also as Wong’s luck charm in a way. Wong had his buddy sweating him in 2006 when he chopped a Bellagio tournament.

“Some how, some way, just win this tournament,” Sung said while his friend was still in contention for the $8.5 million top prize. “People before didn’t notice how good of a player he is. Now they can see it.”

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus